The Next Big Thing

Good Morning. Barb here and I’m participating in a round robin of blog posts called, “The Next Big Thing.” The idea is to answer 10 questions about your Work In Progress.

I was tagged to do this by Edith Maxwell. Check out her blog post here, where she tells about her Next Big Thing, her new Local Foods Mystery series and especially her WIP, the second book in the series, Til Dirt Do Us Part.

Here are my answers to the 10 questions.

What is the working title of your book?

Clammed Up: A Maine Clambake Mystery

Where did the idea come to you for the book?

I’ve shared something about the origin of the series here. The idea for this book came from Maine Crime Writers own Lea Wait, who told me her daughter and her niece got married at a clambake on a private island in Maine. Et voila, The Snowden Family Clambake and Morrow Island were invented. (Well, not really et voila. It was more work than that…)

What genre does your book fall under?

It is a cozy, culinary mystery.  Cozy because it’s an amateur sleuth and a closed pool of suspects. Culinary because there’s an emphasis on food and it includes recipes.  Which my husband and I are testing right now. Oh woe is me. How we suffer for our art.

Which actors would you choose to play characters in your book?

The bride looks like Jessica Pare who plays Meghan Draper on Mad Men

The groom looks like Cheyenne Jackson (I say the bride and groom look somewhat alike.)







My protagonist's sister looks kind of like Amanda Righetti from the mentalist

My young local cop looks like Chris Lowell from Private Practice and The Help







My state cop looks like the realtor David Visentin from Love it or List It

I couldn't figure out who the protagonist's Mom looked like--and then I realized, Katherine Hall Page--kind of appropriate








I’ll leave what the protagonist and the romantic lead look like to everyone’s imaginations.

What is the one-sentence synopsis for your book?

For the series: A young venture capitalist returns to coastal Maine to save her family’s failing clambake business.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

My book is represented by agent John Talbot and will be published by Kensington in the fall of 2013.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

About four months. But two caveats. 1) I’m one who writes the first draft quickly and does a lot of revision. 2) I had all the time while the proposal was being sold and contract signed to plan and think. The next book in the series, I really do have to write in nine months. Ulp.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I was inspired by the books of Cleo Coyle, Lucy Burdette, Leslie Meier–and most of all for this particular book, Sarah Graves, Kaitlyn Dunnett, Vicki Doudera and Lea Wait.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

What else about your book might picque your reader’s interest?

Lots of delicious Maine food.


About Barbara Ross

Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries. Her books have been nominated for multiple Agatha Awards for Best Contemporary Novel and have won the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. She lives in Portland, Maine. Readers can visit her website at
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6 Responses to The Next Big Thing

  1. Cathryn Witty says:

    Thank you for the background information. I cannot wait for this series to start as I spent many Summers in Maine as a child. I miss the ocean and salt air and of course the wonderful Maine seafood. I am also a fan of Cleo Coyle’s coffeehouse mystery series. Now, I am waiting for a great Main clambake.

  2. Deanna says:

    I love cozy mystery books with recipes. I will be on the lookout for this one! Dee

  3. Lea Wait says:

    I’m also looking forward to it — for obvious reasons! Love Barb’s writing, love Boothbay Harbor … and am really curious (as always) how an idea turned into not only a book — but a series! (By the way — there were no crimes committed at either my daughter’s or my neice’s weddings. At least … no visible crimes ……!) Fun blog, Barb!

  4. Barb Ross says:

    Thanks, everyone! Planned release date is the first Tuesday of September, 2013.

    (Don’t worry, I’ll remind you all.)

  5. Lil Gluckstern says:

    Sounds scenic and delicious. I look forward to reading your book

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